Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to present an honor omitted from tonight’s 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards.
The award for the force that’s single-handedly altered the awards show viewing experience goes to … Twitter.
The social networking service, which asks users to submit their thoughts in 140 characters or less, couldn’t be here to accept the honor.
I’ve been appointed to recap Twitter’s milestones, however. Please excuse me if I exceed my 140 characters.
Twitter meets Emmy
The service reigns supreme in the hip, neon MTV universe — where awards ceremonies have referenced Twitter posts related to the show.
The Emmys, often rooted in tradition and predictability, seem unlikely to rely on technology more progressive than what dominates ’60s era TV show “Mad Men.”
But Twitter will take the main stage — literally — when the show airs tonight on NBC.
Host Jimmy Fallon has requested that fans submit introductions via Twitter for some of the celebrities presenting at the ceremony.
When TV programs like “Glee,” “True Blood,” “Modern Family” and “Mad Men” vie for awards tonight, Fallon plans to read the best introductory tweets during the show.
He and his staff will choose tweets up to and during tonight’s Emmys, according to NBC’s website.
Can the strategy resuscitate the nondescript Emmys? Fans have mixed reactions.
Some say Fallon skirted the burden of his comedic hosting duties by putting a decent share of the responsibilities in viewers’ hands.
Others maintain the move reflects a TV entertainment climate that’s become more interactive — a pop culture world where the faces behind juvenile screen names have potential to secure sitcom pilots with a few good one-liners.
New viewing experience
If hosts and presenters are integrating Twitter into the awards show experience, it’s largely because couch-bound fans have already done so.
Sure, chats and live-blogging offer a similar medium for viewer interaction during awards shows.
But tracking Twitter during a show like the Emmys is a distinctly different experience.
The 140-character limit means you’re more likely to find entertaining quips instead of limitless thoughts about an obscure celebrity’s dress.
Plus, the Twitter sphere seems to encompass a greater wealth of pop culture knowledge.
Can’t identify the celebrity looking disgusted in the audience tonight?
Type “Emmys” in the Twitter search bar and you’re bound to find an instant answer — or at least a good share of catty comments directed at the actress in question.
Why track Twitter during an awards show?
The habit is mainly for pop culture junkies, but it also allows aspiring Perez Hiltons to believe that with the right keywords, their one-liners could circulate around water coolers across the country.
At least that’s how things have worked in the past.
It’ll be interesting to see if tonight’s Twitter introductions spur an even greater level of fan control over how awards shows play out.
Who knows? Kanye West might interrupt another acceptance speech simply to fulfill the Twitter universe’s wishes.
As an at-home viewer, you might gain the power to alter the entertainment universe, change the comedic landscape and restore a sense of excitement to awards shows cursed with a bout of drabness.
Well, assuming you can do it all in 140 characters or less.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at 706-571-8516.